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Live At Max's Kansas City

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Album Review

The 12 tracks that make up the Troggs' Live at Max's Kansas City show the band in great underground form. This is actually the best environment for Reg Presley and his ensemble to tape a performance — and Peter Crowley's production makes for a very enjoyable listening experience. "Got Love if You Want It" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" rip. The mellow "Love Is All Around" makes its transition from pop radio classic to a club fave a dozen or so years later. "Give It to Me" is passionate and grungy, with Paul Wycliffe's engineering a bit more in control than Brigid Polk's cassette player capturing the Velvet Underground. There's no date of recording, or even band lineup on the album jacket, just a 1979-1980 copyright on the disc itself. There's a solid rendition of Rufus Thomas' "Walking the Dog," with far more punk than Aerosmith or the Rolling Stones would muster on each of their debut LPs. The guitar is sizzling, and who cares that he misses the cue as Presley is concluding the tune? It is a loose set at a New York bar, and it is authentic. Chuck Berry's "Memphis" and "No Particular Place to Go" get the Troggs' treatment, and it's a far cry from Johnny Rivers' chart debut. "Wild Thing" comes off as the garage rock classic that it is; in fact, this rendition bares the soul of the song, yielding all the reasons that punks and new wavers revere both it and the Troggs. "Gonna Make You" is a home run, and it shows why Reg Presley rules as The King at small venues around the world like Max's Kansas City. An excellent document of an important group.

Biography

Formed: 1964 in Andover, Hampshire, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Remembered chiefly as proto-punkers who reached the top of the charts with the "caveman rock" of "Wild Thing" (1966), the Troggs were also adept at crafting power pop and ballads. Hearkening back to a somewhat simpler, more basic British Invasion approach as psychedelia began to explode in the late '60s, the group also reached the Top Five with their flower-power ballad "Love Is All Around" in 1968. While more popular in their native England than the U.S., the band also fashioned memorable, insistently...
Full Bio